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A marriage proposal as magical as the North Pole –

by Terri Hogan

Senior Staff Writer

North Pole magic was in the air at Olney Theatre Center on Nov. 10, when Buddy the Elf helped Bryan LaMonica propose to Rachel Pozzatti.

Pozzatti said she was excited when LaMonica suggested they go see “Elf the Musical,” which is based on one of her favorite movies.

“Elf the Musical” is this season’s holiday production at Olney Theatre. It will run through Jan. 6.

“The movie came out when I was in high school and I have always loved it,” she said. “Anytime I was bummed about something or need to be cheered up, my mom and I would watch it. My cousins come to visit every summer and we always watch it then, too.”

For the Nov. 10 performance, the theater placed a sign in the lobby stating that all audience members would be automatically entered into a drawing for an Olney Theatre membership.

After the curtain call, Buddy the Elf, the show’s main character, announced the seat numbers of the “winners,” calling Pozzatti and LaMonica up on stage to “claim their prize.”

He handed the microphone to LaMonica, who knelt down and asked Pozzatti to marry him.

“We had been talking about it, but I didn’t know when or how it was going to happen,” Pozzatti said. “It was definitely a surprise.”

The moment became even more special when she realized their family members were in the audience, including her sister from Indiana.

“It wouldn’t have been the same without them there,” she said. “The whole thing was overwhelming.”

The theater was happy for the role it played in the proposal.

“Olney Theatre was thrilled to make this happen for Bryan and Rachel,” said Joshua Ford, Olney Theatre marketing and communications director. “Bryan contacted us a few weeks before the performance and everyone from the administrative staff to the cast of ‘Elf’ was excited to help him with the surprise. It was a great way to begin the run of ‘Elf.’”

Pozzatti said the staff and cast did their part to make the night a memorable one.

“The theater people were amazing,” she said. “They recorded the proposal for us, gave us the membership and a bottle of champagne.”

Pozzatti grew up in Olney, graduating from Sherwood High School in 2006. She is a nurse at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

She is the daughter of Rudy Pozzatti and Mary McCormick.

LaMonica is from Thornwood, N.Y., but now lives in Germantown. He is the son of Greg and MaryEllen LaMonica.

He works in construction management.

The couple met playing softball.

A date for the wedding has not been set.

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